Baroness Warnock defends Christianity at secularism conference.
Mary warnock was invited to speak at the National Secular Society conference on Secularism last Saturday 10th september 2011.
Baroness Mary Warnock wrote the book Dishonest to God: On Keeping Religion out of Politics. So the Secular Society invited her to speak at the conference on Secularism.
In an interview with Laurie Taylor in New Humanist in the September/October 2010 edition he writes: ‘She’s trained her no-nonsense approach on all those religious bodies and groups that seek to claim some special right to adjudicate upon the moral issues of the time. But although this takes up the bulk of the volume she also appends a chapter in which she argues for the significance and importance of religion and religious thinking in everyday life. I begin the interview by suggesting to her that in this latter respect her book is intended as an antidote to the writings of the so-called New Atheists.
“That’s absolutely right. I find Dawkins’ simple-minded view of religion very difficult to take. It pays no proper attention to the history and tradition of religion. It says that religions have done nothing but harm but that is manifestly not true. He omits all the good things, the education, the cathedrals, the music. All that’s disregarded.”
She came along to the conference on Secularism to again propound her position as she defended the Church of England and its privileged role in England against those of us who believe that church and state should be separated. She seemed to be trying to usurp the Queen as ‘defender of the faith’. The churches , the cathedrals, the music, the ritual and memorial services are so wonderful and part of our culture and that therefore she disagreed with us on our pursuit of secualism. I heard moans and groans about me as she went on and on about religious music. She especially mentioned the effect that the St. Matthew Passion had on her. Of course, I think that the sado/masochistic account at the heart of Christianity is pornographic and is misnamed – passion it ain’t . One questioner remarked that he thought he had come to the wrong meeting and another asked Mary Warnock if she had ever been to a Humanist ceremony. She admittted that she hadn’t. So, she was telling a bunch of atheist/secularist/humanists that the Church does ritual better even though she has not even experienced a humanist ceremony. It reminded me of another Mary – Mary Whitehouse.
I felt that she displayed the arrogance common to C of E atheists who have had a private/grammar school/Oxbridge educational experience as they defend it and its superiority to other religions.
However, as a woman I know how important it is to hear from women in academia as science and philosphy are so dominated by men. I do get so pissed of with them being trotted out all the time. From the Unholy Trinity of Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris
The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens
to the FOUR HORSEMEN with an added Dennett
I was pleased that we had Mary Warnock at the conference as well as Sue Cox who is co-founder of Survivors Voice Europe, Anne Marie Waters, spokesperson One Law for All and Baroness Turner of Camden. Last year at the Protest the Pope meeting in Conway Hall it was an all male platform of speakers. They definitely have done better this year. Well done to Gerard and the team for a stimulating conference, especially the comedy turn to finish by Dr. Edward Presswood.